Sunday, February 27, 2011

Syok Sunday

Last Sunday, Kamal worked the whole day, the Internet was way too slow, Khalish conquered the television even while he was occupied with the toys, and all I wanted to do was to relax. The total opposite to this Sunday. Kamal still had to work, but, he was back for lunch. The Internet was speedy that I did not think of UniFi at all. Khalish did not care about the television, or the mommy; he played on his own throughout the morning.

Miraculous of all, I cooked. Only a simple tuna fried rice, but, I cooked with love, and with healthy ingredients. Medium glycemic index basmati rice, minimal olive oil and chili sauce, fresh tomatoes and anchovies for additional tastes, and, a lot of carrots and broccoli to complement the tuna in water.

Then, outdoor excursion. Khalish loved the scenery around the Botanical Garden, Putrajaya. Kamal and I have been there for a dinner at Putrajaya Seafood Restaurant before our son's presence. We explored the park for the first time when Khalish was eight-month old. Next time, the three of us would love to cycle there. Leisurely picnics with families and chums, as well.

I did not carry my camera along though. So, instead of current photos of our outdoor excursion, let us take a stroll down memory lane with past photos, at the same place, once upon a Sunday in March 2009. That was the time when Kamal and I were as chubby as Khalish, I could not find another nursing top as comfortable as the one I was wearing, and, there were more photos of me as compared to now:

Jom, join me for a cycle or picnic one fine Sunday and let us pray that I have moved on from a mere Nasi Goreng Tuna by then.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


A long post. I once wrote that I may not write about Khalish's toddlerhood in details, but, now that I am spending less and less time with him during weekdays, I realise how precious such posts are. Today, at breakfast, Kamal and I had a fantastic time looking at photos of our infant son, with notes to remind us of his antics. So, here I am, with the aforementioned long post, on Khalish. A post written last Saturday, yet, could only be completed the following Saturday, which is today, due to the slow Internet.
Khalish's first sentence upon finishing his breakfast, "kita jangan pergi jalan-jalan ya, mommy; kita main puzzle saja." Kamal and I did have the intention to bring him to Shah Alam for a morning exercise held by our friends' Wellness Now Club for its Weight Loss Challenge. It remained an intention as the boy slept too late yesterday, resulting in a late start to Saturday for him. Kamal ended up going to Shah Alam alone. Khalish asked about the daddy's whereabout as soon as he woke up, but, he was happy enough to have the mommy all to himself, too.

We played all the puzzles in the house, yes. We conversed a lot as well. The last thing he said before he took the afternoon nap was, "esok, kita pergi berenang ya." Kamal and I never taught him the word 'berenang'. He must have acquired the word at play school.

A lot of new words from the teachers and peers actually. New games. New songs. Mostly from the ten hours he was away from us. We are happy with the positive changes, of course. Nonetheless, I  particularly, do miss being the first to witness his progress. I asked Kamal's favour to be back for dinner, but, I am happy enough to have the son all to myself all day long, too.

It is not a secret that there lies a sentimental soul behind my firm, rugged facade. Now, as I behold the innocent face of a sleeping child, my memory cherishes those moments I spent solely with him, especially during my long leave from work. Oh, yes, I am one of the mothers that Cougar Town acknowledged or mocked, depend on one's take, who looks at her child while he or she is asleep. Some of the memories, translated into photos:

Khalish has always loved Herbalife smoothie, and, he made each smoothie session special. As he heard the whizz of the blender, he knew the smoothie would be ready in seconds, hence a dash to the dish cabinet to choose a cup he fancied. There was a session when he used two different cups simultaneously, for different imagination settings, Kamal and I thought. We simply let his imagination run wild although I did prefer to have less dirty dishes, ha ha. Nowadays, he demanded to help with the smoothie preparation. He would be the one to scoop the formula and the ice cubes into the blender. Mister Sandman, I wish for a Duktig pretend play kitchen by Ikea, or a more creative idea from Ikea Hackers.

He loves to drink water, too. At first, I bought a racing car bottle with spill proof straw as his water container, which he loved. One day, during a trip to Chini, we left the bottle in my parents' car. It was never found. The next bottle was a sippy cup, the one Khalish used for milk. Not his favourite. He turned to our one-liter and two-liter water bottles, as pictured, instead. Since then, he brought a one-liter water bottle to play school and daycare center. I wished the smaller Chech was more aware of the importance of water. How I often wondered why my Chinese friends in the primary school often carried a big tumbler of water everywhere. 

About habit, I think obsession manipulation in Khalish's Lego creations is a habit. He is known in this blog for an obsession towards escalator. That has been apparent in the things he built with the Lego pieces. Apart from the basic escalator, he also constructed truck with escalator, boat with escalator, and aeroplane with escalator.

Of course, there were also Lego creations for Hong Kong, where he was introduced to endless escalators. On your left is a 'Hong Kong ferry', and, on your right is 'Hong Kong' itself. After today's afternoon nap, as he assembled another set of puzzle, an idea crossed his mind, out loud, "nanti mommy belikan puzzle Hong Kong, OK."

Ah, more of geek genes. I am a happy, self-confessed geek, but, Kamal has the complete look. Although Khalish's facial features resemble mine, his interests are similar to Kamal's. To further emphasise the point, Khalish tried on the daddy's spectacles. He did not like the image he saw through the powered lenses though, so, the scene only lasted for a few seconds. Phew.

The boy has always fancied books, as well. His favourite book is the one with illustrated lullabies, so much so he could match the illustration to the respective song. Nevertheless, his past selection of reading materials were not confined to children's books only. I have caught him browsing through the adults' books several times. It must be the thickness of the books. More pages, and, in the case of parenting books, more photos.

One unusual day, not only did Khalish ask to do number two at the toilet, which rarely happened as he still prefers the diaper, he also requested to read while at it. A behaviour that I suspected he imitated from a television program. A note to myself: more waterproof books, please. When he did not insist for Timmy Time, I would read him a book or two during bedtime. He often reached for Let's Look by Baby Einstein. That, and a toy truck.

As soon as he was ready to further relish the day, it would be a book he sought for again. I long for such moment. These days, he prefers the photographs that Kamal and I shot, replaying one slideshow after another the whole time he sips the breakfast smoothie.

Nonetheless, all work and no play would make Khalish a dull boy, eh. One day in late December, Kamal came back home with a big wrapped box. A gift for Khalish, from the lovely Uncle Michael and Aunty Cathy, whom we had the opportunity to know through WoW Nutrition Club.The boy was extremely excited to receive the surprise package. He insisted for a photo. He also insisted to be the one who unwrapped it. As soon as the content was revealed, he smiled from ear to ear to find a motorbike. He jumped to find that the motorbike could move on its own with a tap of a switch, and, better still for a little boy, it blared tunes with the move. The motorbike even turned around when it hit an obstruction, which was great enough for it to be an object of Khalish's fascination, for a good half an hour that evening.

Another Khalish's idea of fun: sing. With a makeshift microphone. Here, he belted the most popular song in the world, Happy Birthday to You, with lollipop as the microphone. He was two then.

Five months later, I managed to catch him in the act, with another so-called microphone. Only bigger. The mini torch light sat in a drawer of the television cabinet for emergency. The infant Khalish loved to rummage the cabinet for toys, and, when he failed to find any, he made one. Every time Tom Tom Bak's Ada Bakat Ke segment was on air, he would run to that drawer, take out that mini torch light, and sing along to the talents featured by Pak Nil. He would dance, too. "Look, mommy. Khalish dance." I love this phase.

To tone down the hype from all the singing and dancing, he would usually turn to drawing. There was a phase of lorry sketches on doodle board. That, the mommy had to draw more. I prefer the current phase. Colourful swirls with crayons on sketch pad, all by himself.

This phase: KLCC on mini doodle board. His KLCC on sketch pad is now a display on the side of our refrigerator. Love, love, love.

And, this phase: anything to postpone that morning bath. Ha ha. And, again, I love the concentration.
A note here. I first used Crayola for our first art activities. He was barely one year old then. How I underestimated his creativity. He broke all the crayons as an expression of art, heh. I then resorted to the more sturdy oil pastels for children. However, it left stains on his fingers, and all the things he touched. Unlike Crayola, the stains from the supposedly children-friendly oil pastels left on Khalish's desk surface were only washable with sodium bicarbonate. I chanced upon Maped, a set of plastic crayon that promises to leave no stain on the skin, and if there is any stain on other surfaces, it is easy to clean. Now, I am in love with Maped art supplies.

Last, but not least, Khalish and jigsaw puzzles! Aside from My Body and In the Garden jigsaw puzzles his daddy bought at a supermarket in Kelana Jaya during a spontaneous trip to the Nutrition Club, he really loves the 100-piece solar system jigsaw puzzle by Melissa & Doug.

Another weekend with just the two of us that Kamal attends to Herbalife clients and other works today and tomorrow. I would love to plan for an outdoor excursion on Sunday. Oh, may all of us have wonderful weekends.

My Family's Favourite Lasagna

I am legendary for my least enthusiasm in cooking. I believe I can cook well if I practise more, but, I prefer to spend my time elsewhere. Mostly at Khalish's play scenes and in front of the computer. Therefore, I am thankful for Rose's lasagna, the only frozen food that Kamal and I bought rather regularly, aside from a number of rare items at our friends' Myzen Frozen Food outlet, thanks to the quality.

Khalish loves Rose's lasagna. On the evenings that Kamal was away at work, and I had Herbalife shake for dinner, I would ask Khalish his meal preference. I swear that the following conversation would take place, at least, once a fortnight.

Once upon a time, on the way back from the daycare center:

Mommy: Khalish nak makan apa untuk dinner?
Khalish: Lasagna!
Mommy: Jom ke Delifrance.
Khalish: Khalish nak daddy and mommy's house.
Mommy: I wish I had bought more lasagnas from your Aunty Rose.
Khalish: Ha! Khalish suka lasagna Aunty Rose!

Last week, Kamal came back home with another one!

The frozen lasagna, to be thawed.

The thawed lasagna was then popped into the oven.
(Edited: Thank you, K-lynn and Kamal for highlighting one fact that I was not aware of, no thanks to my minimal use of the microwave oven back at my parents' place. I now know that aluminium container can not be used in the microwave oven.)

There, the lasagna was ready to be enjoyed.
Love, love, love the lasagna. Kamal, Khalish, and I would usually share that one container of lasagna. Yes, a quarter of that is filling enough. It is a good food to bring to potluck do as well, like I did. This is one dish that I would not bother to learn how to cook for now. I will just order from Rose as long as she prepares it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Foto Friday

À la Wordless Wednesday, yet with words. 
The truth is, I am almost out of personal time to blog, thus scheduled posts with mostly photos.

By the way, more of Khalish's old photos. 
Today's series: tatih at Atuk and Wan's backyard. 
I am on sentimental mode, obviously, heh. 

Have a feel-good Friday, fabulous people!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Tribute to Breast Cancer Survivors

Allahyarhamah Datuk Ilani Isahak and my mother. 
The latter was inspired by the former's zest with life, albeit the challenges from breast cancer.


All One Needs is Love, for Life

Today, as I write here, Khalish is out and about with his friends from school. Of course, with their teachers. His first field trip!

One of my many wishes is to be at the museum and photograph the excitement. It is wiser to wish for him to enjoy the new experience though. My prayer is a presence, too, eh.

Looking at the photos of a five-month-old Khalish in my hands, I am thankful that I plunged for a long leave from work to savour the precious early years of the child whom Kamal and I waited almost three years for. It is only timely that I finalise another major decision. To change to a career that demands less of my family time.

To live life to the fullest, that is what each one of us would love to do, I am sure. I am included. One of my many wishes is to be with my children, whenever, wherever, especially during their formative years. It is wiser to wish for me to be able to make the best out of our time together though. To be thankful for each experience.

Khalish, I love you.
Kamal, Khalish and I love you.

Ayah and Mak, Ayoh and Mok, we love you.
Thank you for your prayers, which are your presence in our respective lives).
Al-Fatihah for Allahyarhamah Datuk Ilani Isahak, former National Interfaith committee chief, who passed away at 6:05 a.m. today. My family had the privilege to know her through our love for Herbalife. We admire her high enthusiasm in life, despite and because of breast cancer. The first time  I introduced her to my mother, a fellow breast cancer patient, they held hands and hugged each other, spirited. 

I will share more with you once I am back home. Until then, I love all of you. For life.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rush, Rush

The Internet connection is extremely slow lately. So slow, it took half an hour to insert an image in a post. I long for UniFi here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

As it is

Creative sources: Katrina of Pugly Pixel

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Terrific Thursday

Today, every single thing is better than yesterday, Alhamdulillah.

I bloom, beautifully, thanks to the strong roots. 
Faith, family, and foundation.

Superb Herbalife Seminars

Yesterday, my husband had the opportunity to attend an event that everybody in the Herbalife business looked forward to: a special business seminar with Susan Peterson, an Independent Herbalife Distributor. She was named Businesswoman of the Year in 2005 by the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee, United States. The first time I listened to her talk was at Herbalife University 2009, and, undoubtedly, I fell in love with her business persona and the way she spread the aura to the audience. I wished I were at J.W. Marriott Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, but, there were other priorities at home.

Nevertheless, I was fortunate enough to be at Putrajaya International Convention Center on December 10, 2010, for Heart Health Talk by Dr. Louis Ignarro. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine (1998) for the discovery of Nitric Oxide. Currently, he is a member of Herbalife Nutrition and Scientific Advisory Board. The collaboration has resulted in Herbalife hearth health products such as Herbalifeline and Niteworks.

Aside from the elaboration on the correlation between Nitric Oxide, heart health, weight management, and fitness, the Nobel Laureate also highlighted his personal achievements with Herbalife. He has shed over 15 excess kilograms, and, since then, he has been able to be more active physically. He also started to run marathon, in his 60s. To date, he has run 13 competitive marathons. Now, he cycles competitively, too.

"Healthy diet and exercise help to increase one's life quality" Dr. Ignarro shared with the audience, and, later, he joked, "I will tell you that until I turn blue." I look forward to his presence again this year. Meanwhile, here are the photos that I would love to share in the blog:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Daily Doses of Happiness

On Saturday,
  • Khalish and I had lunch with our mutual chums. We went to Pavilion with Mas & Mirza, and, the four of us joined Zura & Ellery, Tiqa & Inas, and Sham & Rai, along with Aidan, at Dome. All to celebrate Di's birthday. How I wished I also remembered my camera, alongside Khalish's wet tissue, diapers, crayons, and sketch pad. It would be most memorable to freeze the scenes then, especially Di's reaction when Rai arrived with the sash and balloons, and, as the birthday girl knew that the cake that we bought earlier, yet could not hide, was not ordered by Kamal for his friend. Not to mention the adults' various methods to keep the children entertained throughout the two-hour lunch. Among them were the improvised toys available at the outlet: magazine rack that was converted to a climbing wall by the adventurous souls, chocolate stall that the whimsical minds treated as one of the little shops on HappyLand, and, straws that were remodeled as Jedi's swords by the adventurous souls and the whimsical minds combined. Just to name a few.
  • I eventually found Baby Love diaper pants, a brand that was introduced to me by Liza. Thank you, darling. The brand may not be well known, but, the quality surprised us despite the price, which is way cheaper than Drypers. Kamal and I used to get Mamy Poko for Khalish because it suited his eczema-prone skin then. As the boy's skin became less and less sensitive, we changed to Drypers for the economic factor. Too bad, their diaper pants often leaked. I was considering to change to Mamy Poko again when Liza gave me Uqaiel's Baby Love diaper pant for Khalish to try. It did not leave rashes on his skin, and, best of all, it did not leak despite excessive number one and two. Since then, I tried to find the brand at baby outlets around Bandar Baru Bangi and Putrajaya, to no avail. Liza bought her supply at Giant Kelana Jaya. Now, Kamal and I could get ours at Kasih Ibu, Seri Bangi. Oh, there is Tutti Frutti there, as well.
On Sunday,
  • I cooked after the household finished the Ketupat, Kuah Kacang, Sambal Ikan Bilis, and Rendang Ayam that my mother packed for us that Thursday evening. It was only Bihun Goreng Singapura, fried with minimal olive oil, and ingredients available in the refrigerator, namely tempe, carrots, and celery. Thank God, too, for the instinct to grab ground black pepper, as well as various spices, at Pasar Tani last week. My first time with bihun meal. Pathetic for a 29-year-old, I know. I tried and I almost conquered though. How I underestimated the instruction for a pinch of sugar, white or brown. Chilli sauce saved the day. Now, the household had finished my first Bihun Goreng Singapura.
  • Khalish wanted daddy 99 percent of the time. 
On Monday,
  • Kamal suggested, "let's go back to Rembau this evening." Maulidur Rasul holiday fell on the next day and we did not have any plan to be out and about. I said, "let us" and the three of us found ourselves in Ayah and Mak's place soon. 
  • Prior to that, Kamal and I had an early dinner date. We must have missed Kelantan much because we picked Restoran Nasi Ulam for its choices of Kelantanese lauk-pauk, particularly the ulam. Another good option for authentic Kelantanese nasi berlauk is Restoran Belauk in Seksyen 7, Bandar Baru Bangi. 
On Tuesday, which is yesterday, 
  • Chez Chembong was lively. Three of my brothers were there. Two with their respective family members. My mother was one happy mother and grandmother. Too bad Ayah had scheduled a commitment in Pahang earlier, obviously not expecting us to be back on a one-day public holiday. Khalish, meanwhile, played with his cousins all day long. The adults actually had to supervise a number of wrestling sessions. Boys will be boys, I am well aware of, from my experiences being with five brothers and no sister. Oh, even my mother was tomboyish. 
  • Khalish finally had the adorable but messy wavy hair being cut. For a boy who loathes any kinds of hairdressers and salons, including the ones with fancy seats, he made a great progress yesterday by crying only towards the end of the process. He never liked any foreign object, like a strand of hair, on his face, yet, he could not sit still. Credits to the Indian barber though. Not only he asked for the other adult customers' permission to cut the little boy's hair first, knowing how fidgety a toddler could be while waiting, he also managed Khalish's struggle really well. The boy's hair was cut evenly. My camera next time, definitely. I would love to introduce you to the barber. 
The boy, soothed by his favourite Cadbury Bytes, yet was still complaining about the hair on his face.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Six Ladies and a Half Man: Once Upon an Iftar

A reminiscence, apparently. A post that appears solely because the same bunch, with the addition of two ladies and their respective plus ones, will see each other again today. This time, for lunch.

Meanwhile, enjoy the photos of us as much as we enjoyed ourselves then:

Tourists from Bandar Baru Bangi, heh. Khalish always noticed KLCC every time we were on the Middle Ring Road 2 on the way to or from Kelantan. This, however, was the first time that he went to KLCC as a toddler. Thus the photo. Nevertheless, one does not need any reason to be photographed. Just do it, eh.

Kamal stayed to snap photos of Di, Khalish, and I. The boy covered his face not due to the glaring sunlight, but because of him being shy. "Malu dengan Aunty Di" he said. After all, he is like Kamal and I, a borderline introvert-extrovert.

Shoe hunting for Di, but, it looked as though Khalish was the one who could not decide on what to get. Another possibility: he was patiently waiting for the shopping session to end. Ha. He even conveniently put his hands out of the safety belts.

Ellery had arrived. Aunty Di cared for both Ellery and Khalish while Momma Zura shopped and Mommyrazzi Chech went crazy with the camera. Thank you, Di.

The adorable Ellery with the equally adorable Aunty Di. When the former got hungry from being passed around, the aunties passed her back to the momma to be breastfed. Ellery was amiable indeed.

Tiqa kept the sweet Inas entertained with lots of fruits. She also kept the others entertained with lots of stories.
Oh, she kept everybody happy with that smile.

Khalish, meanwhile, was entertained by Aunty Zura. These two are best friends. Ha!
Oh, I can't wait to see all of you again, and that gives me enough reason to ignore the house chores as I blog instead.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Photos from iPhone, by Khalish

It started with "smile, daddy and mommy", and it revolutionised to "smile, puzzle" and "smile, computer" and "smile, leg"; oh, you got the drift, eh. Among the photos:

My favourite: his self portrait, of the "smile, leg" series.